Northern Ireland

Eight million cigarettes seized at Belfast Port

Seized cigarettes Image copyright Border Force
Image caption The cigarettes were discovered in 40 pallets with a total of 800 boxes

Eight million smuggled cigarettes have been seized at Belfast Port.

The cigarettes were found on Saturday in what has been described by officials as the biggest such seizure at the port in six years.

Border Force officers found them in a 40-ft (12m) container that had arrived on a ship from Singapore.

The load was listed as bed linen with a delivery address in County Down. The cigarettes were discovered inside 800 boxes on 40 pallets.

John Oldham, assistant director for Border Force Northern Ireland, said: "By stopping the shipment Border Force has starved those responsible of the proceeds of their criminality.

"The black market cheats honest traders and it is effectively stealing from the public purse money that could be used to pay for healthcare, education and other services.

"People tempted by cheap cigarettes and tobacco should think again."